US Supreme Court ruling described as ‘huge blow’ to American women’s reproductive rights and gender equality.
International condemnation has been swift following the US Supreme Court’s decision to upend the constitutional protections for abortion contained in the landmark Roe v Wade ruling of 1973.
The controversial ruling on Friday means that roughly half of all US states are now poised to ban abortions.
The US court’s decision was “a major setback” and a “huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality”, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.
A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said restricting abortion access does not stop people seeking the procedure “it only makes it more deadly“.
“Sexual and reproductive health and rights are the foundation of a life of choice, empowerment and equality for the world’s women and girls,” the secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Friday.
“Restricting access to abortion does not prevent people from seeking abortion, it only makes it more deadly.”
World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he expected more of the United State when it came to the protection of women’s rights.
“I am very disappointed, because women’s rights must be protected. And I would have expected America to protect such rights,” he said.
The French and British leaders condemned the ruling as a challenge to women’s freedoms.
“Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter.